The History of Mt. Hope Cemetery
Mount Hope Cemetery began when eleven businessmen from Webb City and Joplin decided to form a corporation and build a cemetery in Jasper County, north of Joplin and adjacent to Webb City. Members of the corporation were W.S. Gunning, Alfred H. Rogers, Joseph Allen Hardy, Sr., William S. Chinn, Thomas F. Coyne, Thomas J. Roney, George W. Moore, R.B. Dodge, Charles Schifferdecker, James M. Leonard and James H. Dangerfield. Gunning and Rogers purchased the land for $11,500 from land owners W.A. and Elza J. Bigger, Jesse T. and Mary Webb L.D., and Clemma E. Jeans and John E. Webb. The cemetery's original tract consisted of 77 acres of farmland. "The Mount Hope Cemetery Association" was oficially incorporated on April 12, 1905. The purpose of the corporation was to establish a park-like cemetery by laying out and subdividing tracts of land into cemetery lots and to preserve and maintain the cemetery in perpetuity. They funded the corporation with capital stock valued at $30,000. The $30,000 was divided into three hundred dollar shares parred at a value of $100 each.
Prior to this time in the 1840's a small community known as Pilot Grove occupied the site. During the Civil War the property was a formidable position to hold since the land occupied the highest peak in Jasper County.
Mount Hope Cemetery represents an extremely valuable cultural and historical asset of the four-state area. The genealogical information, the gravestone architecture, and iconography make Mount Hope an historical treasure. Notable Joplin, Webb City, and Galena businessmen of the zinc and lead mining era are interred on the cemetery grounds. Joplin co-founding father Patrick Murphy and Webb City founding father John Cornwall Webb are both buried in the cemetery.
The engineering wonders that Mount Hope Cemetery provides contain splendid architectural structures that have remained unspoiled for over 100 years. Mount Hope features nine elaborately designed mausoleums. These innovative and elegant homes for the departed, forever tribute those who made our community what it is today. Although the private mausoleums of yesteryear were primarily built for wealthy families, today new technology makes these magnificent structures more affordable.
In 2002, cemetery caretakers constructed a Southwest Missouri landmark, the Veterans Memorial of Timeless Honor, dedicated to all military services.